bell_towerThe chapel of St. Felicity
slowly unmaking itself
for a thousand years

has achieved the perfection
of a tangled grassy bank
where cowslips and violet grow,

wild tulip and orchid to follow,
and where a drift of sloe,
blooming white, beheld a vision:

a swallowtail, newly hatched,
black cloisonné and liquid lemon,
unfurled its coiled tongue

to let nectar flow up through it
with the pulsebeat of the sun
and not a single thought.


From Notes From a Mountain Village, forthcoming with Barbican Press in 2015.